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Satie: Piano Works


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Audio CD, January 23, 1992
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$38.10 $9.95

Product Details

  • Composer: Erik Satie
  • Audio CD (January 23, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: EMI Classics
  • ASIN: B000002SBP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,193 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Oeuvres Pour Piano: Gymnopedie I
2. Oeuvres Pour Piano: Gymnopedie II
3. Oeuvres Pour Piano: Gymnopedie III
4. Oeuvres Pour Piano: Les Trois Valses distinguées du précieux dégoûté I: Sa taille
5. Oeuvres Pour Piano: II: Son binocle
6. Oeuvres Pour Piano: III: Ses jambes
7. Oeuvres Pour Piano: Trois Gnossiennes: I Lent
8. Oeuvres Pour Piano: II Avec étonnement
9. Oeuvres Pour Piano: III Lent
10. Oeuvres Pour Piano: Trois Gnossiennes: IV Lent
See all 32 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Jack In The Box: Prelude
2. Jack In The Box: Entracte
3. Jack In The Box: Final
4. Sports et Divertissements: Choral inappetissant
5. Sports et Divertissements: La Balançoire
6. Sports et Divertissements: La Chasse
7. Sports et Divertissements: La Comédie italienne
8. Sports et Divertissements: Le Réveil de la Mariée
9. Sports et Divertissements: Colin-Maillard
10. Sports et Divertissements: La Pêche
See all 60 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

It's simple: in his various realizations of the piano music of Erik Satie, Aldo Ciccolini set a standard that has yet to be bettered. This compilation, drawn from recordings made between 1966 and 1971, is consequently the best of the best. Ciccolini always played Satie's music as though it had been written by Claude Debussy, not by some cheap charlatan or uneducated primitive (which, to an extent that is still debatable, Satie was). The result is that these seemingly simple piano pieces acquire a tonal allure that is as surprising as it is undeniable. They possess an understated sophistication that points directly toward Ravel and Poulenc, at the same time providing an opening to the minimalist aesthetic of the later 20th century. Ciccolini's playing is pliant and graceful, and under his fingers the music seems to breathe and come alive. What more could a composer or a listener want? --Ted Libbey

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
The selection of music provides a good overview of Satie's piano works.
David A. Wend
He plays with such purity, delicacy and feeling, and strength and power when the music calls for it.
Alejandra Vernon
Aldo Ciccolini always has been the greatest interpreter of Satie's work for piano.
Jason Shumate

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 62 people found the following review helpful By sbissell3 on August 7, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Erik Satie was a bit of a rebel and his influence is probably more noticed today than during his life. His composition often sound more like jazz of the 1990s than classical music of the late 1800s. Even in his titles he rebeled against the trend to give compositions sweet titles and chose instead such things as "Jack in the Box," or "dried fetuses." His intent was not, in my opinion, to shock, as his music is not at all shocking, but to jar the musical establishment away for from "traditional" thinking.
This recording is, to my knowledge, one of the few with all of the sixty piano pieces. Usually a few are left out. Aldo Ciccolini does a marvelous job on this music. There is no attempt to doll it up with unnecessary flourishes, all of the pieces are played straight ahead.
This music is not for everyone. However, if you have an interest in very good piano music and an appreciation for the roots of modern music, you will love these CDs.
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra Vernon HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 27, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For my taste, no one comes close to interpreting Satie as superbly as Aldo Ciccolini. He plays with such purity, delicacy and feeling, and strength and power when the music calls for it. My favorite Satie compositions are the "Gnossiennes" and here you get all 6 of these exquisite pieces (most CDs only have the first 3) played to perfection. The enclosed booklet says that "Satie escapes all definition and classification". He was truly one of a kind, inimitable, inspiring...there is a corner of my soul that only Satie can satisfy. On the practical side, this CD set has nearly 2 1/2 hours of music at a great price on amazon.com, and the case has 2 separate sections, not one of those annoying flaps to lift in order to get out the 2nd disc. This is a terrific package from every angle, and if you like Satie, this one's a must to own.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Eric E. Stewart on June 25, 2004
Format: Audio CD
If you're reading this, you've already heard Satie's music, so I needn't to go into that. I do want to say that this is the only recording of Satie that is worth hearing. Ciccolini is the only foot that will fit the Satie glass slipper. Don't waste your money on the ugly step-sisters.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Jason Shumate on December 22, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Please note that this collection does NOT contain Erik Satie's complete works for piano. The collection makes no such claim, but at 5 CDs, some may assume it to be complete and none of the other reviews to date mention this. I am too lazy to do the research to come up with a complete list, but offhand I know that these songs are missing - "Je Te Veux", "Fantaisie-Valse" and "Valse-Ballet". These 3 are among my favorite Satie pieces, so yes, I think the collection is diminished somewhat by their absence.

Aldo Ciccolini always has been the greatest interpreter of Satie's work for piano. Ciccolini has a feel for Satie that no one else does, although I have to admit that I prefer a faster tempo to "Poudre D'Or" than the slower, introspective tempo Ciccolini always uses, but that's only a small matter of personal preference. These recordings were originally made in 1967 and 1971 and the sound quality is excellent. At the dawn of the CD era at various sessions from 1983-1986, Ciccolini recorded Satie's complete works for piano on EMI on 5 CDs. They are currently out of print in America, with the exception of one compilation CD (also available at Amazon at the time of writing) with Gabriel Tacchino playing the 2nd piano on the pieces for 2 pianos. Ciccolini was overdubbed playing the 2nd piano on the original recordings in this review. I have a slight preference for the later recordings, but many seem to prefer these originals. You can't go wrong with these, just understand that they are not complete and the missing songs are among Satie's best.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Edward A. Cooper on February 19, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau and Eric Satie were drinking buddies; it shouldn't be surprising that their work, though in different media, should bear striking similarities. This CD set replaces a very badly abused vinyl recording from the 1960s. No one plays Satie like Aldo Ciccolini. I do wish the Parade had been included, Satie wrote the music, Cocteau the libretto and Picasso did the sets and costumes-Satie's only ballet. Of course, the circa 1910 audience walked out. It's the story of an out-of-work ballet company that goes out onto the streets of Paris to try to get customers to come inside. The customers are stereotypes like the American in a cowboy outfit who adds the sound of this six gun to the music and the secretary who types through the encounter. The back wall of the theater was covered with Picasso designed neon signs flashing in bright colors throughout the performance. Across the front of the stage he'd strung acetate on which were playing street scenes of Paris from three cameras-red, blue and green. The men were way, way ahead of their times.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 10, 1998
Format: Audio CD
SATIE HAS CREATED THE DEFINITIVE PIANO MUSIC FOR TODAY'S WORLD; CICCIOLINI HAS PUT IT ON DISC. OTHERS TRY TO "ROMANTICIZE" THIS WORK, NOT UNDERSTANDING THAT IT CONTAINS ITS OWN ROMANTICISM AND THAT IT NEEDS NOTHING ADDITIONAL TO MAKE IT ENJOYABLE & UNDERSTANDING
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David A. Wend TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 19, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I had the original LPs of Aldo Ciccolini performing Erik Satie's piano music. He actually recorded the music twice: once in mono and then in stereo. Such is Ciccolini's devotion to Satie's music. The two discs in this set collect perhaps the best of Satie's piano music. The popular Gymnopedies lead off disc one, followed by the Gnossiennes and what is arguably Satie's finest piece for piano Three Pieces in the form of a pear (Trois movements en forme de poire). This piece was played for Sergei Diaghilev by the composer and Misia Sert in the hopes the impresario would be interested in giving Satie a commission. The selection also includes Jack in the box, Sports et divertissements and the Three Sarabandes.

Several of the works in this collection reflect the humor of the composer who often gave his music outrageous titles, such as Cold Pieces, Three waltzes of distinction for a fastidious dandy and Desiccated embryos. Aldo Ciccolini has an obvious affection for Satie's music and it shows in his careful attention to this music. He is equally expressive with the tenderness of the Gnossiennes and Gymnopedes as he is with the humor of La belle excentrique and the charm of Three Pieces in the form of a pear. The selection of music provides a good overview of Satie's piano works.

The recordings were made from 1966 to 1971, and have been nicely re-mastered. The sound may not be up to digital standards but the performances are not to be missed.
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